Despite the fact that there has been significant opposition from the public and businesses across the whole of the City of Lincoln, including a 1,500 signature petition and two protests, the Labour-run City Council has decided to close further public toilets around the City. These include:
- The Victorian urinals at The Lawn, on Union Road and at Newport Arch;
- Facilities at Lucy Tower and South Park will open for special events only, and,
- Westgate car park’s toilets will only allow access via radar key, and during special events such as the Christmas Market
The Conservative Group on the City Council, led by Councillor Thomas Dyer as Leader of the Opposition, have consistently opposed the decision including making a first-class case presented to the Council’s Scrutiny Committee meeting on Wednesday 28 July.
In his letter, sent to the Labour Leader of the City Council today, Lincoln MP, Karl McCartney, who had joined the protests, also set out his opposition to the damaging policy pursued by the Labour Party in the City: “As the Conservative Member of Parliament for Lincoln, I receive a substantial amount of correspondence on an array of issues. These include City of Lincoln Council related matters and the views of the people I represent have been clear and numerous on this particular issue.
“Whether residents, business owners or operators, café, pub or shop owners, students, or visitors, they are dismayed and disappointed at the ongoing programme of closure of the public toilet amenities that you and your Labour-controlled Council have presided over in recent years.
“We must maintain our current standard of Public Toilet Service Provision within the City of Lincoln, especially within the ‘tourist hotspots’, as a minimum, if we want to see Lincoln prosper, grow and live up to its ‘most well-loved’ and welcoming reputation.
“In my view, all the toilet facilities you have closed in recent years should be renovated and re-opened, and you should, along with Lincoln BIG and other representative bodies, be looking to augment and add to the level of provision across our City and certainly focussed in the hospitality and tourism areas of the City centre. There is a case to be made that far from ‘Levelling Up’, you and your Labour colleagues and Senior Officers at the City Council seem to want to persist in ‘levelling down’ our wonderful City.
“I am further aware that should you persist in your programme of closures, the incidence of public disorder, unsightly and unacceptable behaviour, and the costs of cleaning up your ill-judged decisions will begin to mount up - all to be borne by the taxpayers of our City. There might well be associated public health issues too.
“If the City of Lincoln carried out a comprehensive consultation, I am confident that my Constituents would prioritise Public Toilet provision over many other areas of non-statutory services which the City of Lincoln Council currently provides, and spends taxpayer’s money on.“
Karl also copied in a range of interested parties who might wish to make their views known on the likelihood of the negative incidences and actions they perceive will be increased. These negative issues are well known to Labour’s City Councillors and others involved in the welfare and wellbeing of the public realm environment. He also copied in the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, as he may wish to make a comment on this from a Police perspective.
These interested parties included:
- Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire
- Cllr. Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council
- Cllr. Richard Wright, Leader of NKDC